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Son Says He’s an Atheist and Doesn’t Want a Bar Mitzvah

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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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I came across this problem that the "Advice Mensch" was dealing with, and though it might be a fun topic to throw at the ATS Religion, Faith, And Theology forum community. I thought it might be something that could unite us all, regardless of our religious or non-religious status.

Here goes:


My wife and I belong to a Conservative synagogue where we send our two sons (ages 8 and 11) to Hebrew school and attend services on holidays and many Shabbats. We have friends in the community, enjoy our Jewish life, and are very much looking forward to our oldest son’s bar mitzvah — or at least we were looking forward to it. Our problem is he has suddenly and rather emphatically declared himself an atheist and says he does not want to have a bar mitzvah. Our son is incredibly interested in science and insists it is unscientific and superstitious to believe in God. Also, the young rabbi our son had been training with took a position in another city and my son has not formed a bond with his replacement, who is much older. I fear this is a problem that will not solve itself. Any advice, Mensch? — Stumped in Oakland


My advice....."Who cares what a 12-13 year thinks? It's less to do with religion and more to do family obligation and it's for his future success."

But that just me.

The Mensch said this, which I also like..........



Dear Stumped: First off, a number of rabbis have assured Mensch that your son’s onset of recalcitrance at this age is not at all uncommon. How else should a 13-year-old boy respond to the prospect of stuffing himself into a suit and reading ancient Hebrew text in front of weird Uncle Saul and old Aunt Helen?




LOL

Actually, "The Mensch" said a lot more. Check out the link. Link

So, what would you do? What's your advice? How important are religious celebrations and rites in a child's life?



edit on 29-6-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:04 PM
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a reply to: windword

I say let the boy make his own choice. He's gotta learn to stand on his own feet sooner or later, and it sounds like he's ready to do it. Besides, isn't it worse to make him participate in a ritual for reasons other than sincere devotion, than it is to let him skip it entirely for the time being?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: windword

I think they should let there son travel his own path with guidance of course (they are parents after all).

I understand it to be difficult but to force the issue will only make it worse, the resentment will build and problems will be exaggerated.
For the extreme religious this is a massive mistake to make. A being has the right of free will and choice and this will not change.
It saddens me to see that so many think it's ok to deny this, If they had a little faith they would let there son tread this path, for in the end science will lead him to the creator anyway



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:06 PM
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Sorry, I'm goyim (barely above livestock since I'm not inbred into your religion).
Read my Maimonides...

I take the view of Voltaire when it comes to education. Religion should be the last thing taught and not before the age of 16-17.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: windword

Forcing religion on a child will only create an emotional bias against the concept of God. The choice should rest in the boy's hands.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:11 PM
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a reply to: windword

Did the little s.o.b. throw this kind of fit at his bris?


edit on 6/29/2014 by ItCameFromOuterSpace because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:13 PM
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Every religion has their questioners. They tend to make the best comedians. Carlin on Catholicism WOW. Lewis Black on Judaism equally WOW. Gotta have the thinkers.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: the owlbear

I'm not Jewish either, but I'm researching Judaism right now, and came across this article. I thought it was "religiously" sort of universal.

But I also appreciate the importance of celebrating "manhood". Ladies do it, for example, "Belles" in "The South" have their balls, and here in California they have a "Quinncedes".

At least a Bar Mitzvah isn't a "Purity Ball, where young women pledge their virginity to their fathers.


edit on 29-6-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:22 PM
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originally posted by: windword
At least a Bar Mitzvah isn't a "Purity Ball, where young women pledge their virginity to thier fathers.


Seriously, I think I could have gone the rest of my life not knowing about that.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: windword

If I were the boy's father (thus a Jewish man), I wouldn't try to convince him of religion but I would explain tradition as a cultural performance, much like a secular high school graduation. Just as my family celebrates Christmas (we are not Christians) because it's culturally fun to do and we aren't militant about only celebrating our own path's traditions.

I would explain to him that if he did not want to do it because of a strong sense of hypocrisy doing it as an atheist even after understanding the cultural and social spin on it, I would allow him to skip it. I would also not hesitate to tell my colleagues and friends why.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:36 PM
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originally posted by: ItCameFromOuterSpace
a reply to: windword

Did the little s.o.b. throw this kind of fit at his bris?



No. I think he went into shock from the pain. He was an atheist then, too.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:36 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: the owlbear

I'm not Jewish either, but I'm researching Judaism right now, and came across this article. I thought it was "religiously" sort of universal.

But I also appreciate the importance of celebrating "manhood". Ladies do it, for example, "Belles" in "The South" have their balls, and here in California they have a "Quinncedes".

At least a Bar Mitzvah isn't a "Purity Ball, where young women pledge their virginity to thier fathers.



I'm cool with that. I just despise any religion which says they are the "chosen ones". Most people that I know that have grown up in a Judaic set are given opportunity due to the prevalence of professors, lawyers, doctors, etc. That it seems more like a fraternity than a faith. Sad really...but that's the way th world works.
Note
I just always have to drop the Maimonides quotes cuz they are as wrong as i nquisitions, fatwas, etc.)

I wish your son nothing but the best...tell him his options and opportunities if he can fake it for a while...



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:44 PM
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a reply to: the owlbear

Just to be clear, the subject of OP isn't my kid.

I'm a Christian apostate with a 40 year old daughter who has multiple doctorates, and she has given this generation no children.


edit on 29-6-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:54 PM
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Smart kid learning to think for himself.
The parents should respect his request and not hold the ceremony .. rather than force him to be someone that he isnt . far too many parents force their kids to be things theyre not ..



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:03 PM
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I think he should be sacrificed to the Volcano God....then he can make his free will choice.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:16 PM
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originally posted by: Rex282
I think he should be sacrificed to the Volcano God....then he can make his free will choice.


I'm sure Hephaestus would appreciate the gesture.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:28 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: the owlbear

Just to be clear, the subject of OP isn't my kid.

I'm a Christian apostate with a 40 year old daughter who has multiple doctorates, and no grandchildren.



Understood.
Thank you for the clarification.

I just find it amusing at how many people say they are "Jewish". A religion. That tends to exclude outsiders, but has seemingly have survived a few thousand years. I think the not eating pork solidified the deal.

I started a thread a while back about whether the Hebrew God was circumcised. Since after all, the book says HE is a HE, but he demands foreskin? Why would an omnipotent being even CREATE a foreskin to cut off (like the Egyptians who didnt live to far away).

It was shut down. Made too much sense.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:30 PM
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Don't they have protocol for occurances like this? Like don't they test to see if he weighsmore than a duck or something?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:33 PM
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originally posted by: manna2
Don't they have protocol for occurances like this? Like don't they test to see if he weighsmore than a duck or something?


>implying Jews are witches
>Hitler was a witch hunter

Roflcopter.
edit on 29-6-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:49 PM
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a reply to: windword

Well, as a Christian I would have to say that it makes little difference... Jews and Atheists are destined for the same eternal condemnation because neither believe on the LORD Jesus Christ. One believes in a false god, while the other believes in no god.



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